Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday 10th. CFA Wednesday 10th. CFA
Wednesday 10th.

A fine clear but quite a sharp day. We feel cold more from it’s long cessation. I went to the Office. Received a letter from A. B. Johnson of Utica to whom I sent a copy of my Pamphlet.1 He asks for a copy of the former one and expresses his dissent from my views respecting a National Bank. I immediately sent him a copy and at the same time wrote a short letter maintaining my opinions.2

Mr. Walsh made his appearance much to my surprise. He has verified my apprehensions, being resolved not to go and has come back to relapse into idleness. I had not much time, but took my walk and read Herodotus as usual.

In the afternoon, resumed the book of Father Jobert upon Medals which I followed up with some industry. I also looked over the MS to see if I could not make some changes in my Lecture with which I am not satisfied. Went down to make a call at Mrs. Frothingham’s, my Wife having taken tea there and found an assembly of the family. Evening tolerably pleasant. Home early, looked over Plutarch’s Essay’s.

379 1.

Alexander Bryan Johnson to CFA, 6 Jan., Adams Papers.


To Johnson, 10 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers.

Thursday 11th. CFA Thursday 11th. CFA
Thursday 11th.

Milder but still cool. My Wife went to Medford today to see Mrs. Angier and returned to dinner. I to the Office where I finished my draft of the Quarterly account with my father. This with an interruption or two took all my time. Received a letter from my Mother containing a singular medley of smiles and tears, but the latter predominate, I think.1

Walk around the Common which has been this year my favourite resort, and which in this open winter and since the pavement has been made round it is much more agreeable than the walk to the South end. Herodotus.

Afternoon, the Governor’s Message to the Legislature. He has not been ashamed to borrow from me all of his principal ideas and recommendations. And the Newspapers puff what he has to say as very just and very excellent, when they pretend that my notions are not worth regarding. Well, this is small game, and if I live, I will break it down.

Edward Brooks and his Wife made a call for a half hour. My Wife was so tired that she retired early in the evening and so I remodelled the commencement of my Lecture much more to my satisfaction.


LCA to CFA, 8 Jan. [in 6–22 Jan.], Adams Papers. CFA’s words about the letter echo LCA’s own: “even from my idle gossip you may draw inferences not far from the truth in regard to the times. It is an epitome of the world a perpetual alternation of tears and woe and joy and smiles.”

Friday 12th. CFA Friday 12th. CFA
Friday 12th.

A very fine day. I went to the Office and found the town in much trouble and consternation in consequence of the failure of the Commonwealth Bank to meet its Notes. Thus has my conjecture been verified and an additional evidence been given of the insecurity of the public under the Associated system which I wished to establish.1 But although it gives me cause of real satisfaction to find myself justified in this manner, I am sorry to say that I feel as if my attempt to expose it had been attended with little or no success.

This day there was much running to and fro among the Banks and some symptoms of breaking the line, but nothing at all done. On the 3d day of this month I presented Mr. Brooks’ Check at the Boston 380Bank and they paid the greater part of it in Commonwealth bills. And this they call making good the currency of the Community.

Mr. Walsh came into the Office and talked. He seems much inclined to resume his ancient idle habits of life. Walk this fine day and Herodotus. Afternoon, the Father Jobert whose ideas upon Medals are very good. Evening at home, reading Lockhart’s Life of Scott after which continue my new draft.


It was “the insecurity of the public” under a makeshift arrangement of associated banks that CFA had sought to make clear.